Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s former president and no great natural when it came to arithmetic, would pause and admonish people to “listen properly” as he lumbered, face first, over the minefield of some critical figure or other. Today’s ANC, sans Zuma, may have sold itself as a reversion to rationality, but it is clearly equally mystified by numbers.

This was evident in the sound and fury after the R42.7m settlement paid by the British bank Standard Chartered to the Competition Commission for its role in manipulating foreign exchange deals. In all, 28 banks were charged locally by the commission in a case that has now dragged on for eight years...

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